Sunday, 11 September 2011

Advocacy and publishing - Thing 16 (cpd 23 Things)

We all do advocacy in different ways. Sometimes it's verbally representing ours organisations or libraries, and others are more public about it. In think we med both. I think we can all do a litle bit if we think creatively enough.

 Recently I've become involved in a bibliotherapy group. The attendees of this group wouldn't know that is what this is, but it is. This particular group uses poetry as it's focus. There are groups all over the country using literature in all its forms as a means to help people feel better, connect with libraries, literature, each other, and go home feeling better. This is what happens with this group. We meet once a week and talk about a poem, maybe two or three, and see where it leads us. It leads some members to some dark places where they can talk about problems, illness, mental health, depression, coping with day to day living, and feel supported. It's a safe place where members come together and where a lot of laughter happens: everyone goes home feeling better.

 All this as a result of reading a poem. It's not really important that the reading is a poem - it just happens to be what the group is used to, and it provides a springboard for discussion and for everyone to talk about how they relate to the piece and find common ground. All this as a result of meeting in a library once a week, away from problems and away from other distractions.

Our libraries make us feel better.

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